This fragment of artist's study, in limestone, found during the Franco-Polish excavations of Edfu (Upper Egypt), probably evokes the upper part of the great goddess Hathor, venerated in her temple of Denderah, Horus' female counterpart, the solar force that sustains the life of the world.
The shape of the body and face corresponds to the style of the early Ptolemaic period, shortly after Alexandre conquered Egypt.
At that time, Isis, the mother of mankind, and Hathor, the lover, merged into one person, and it is often in their combined features that the Pharaoh's wife appears. One could imagine the great Cleopatra - the seventh - adorned in this way when she did her best to charm Anthony and Caesar.
We can note the wig with its fine stepped curls, crowned with the corpse of vulture, whose hooked beak has disappeared, the opening of the tunic held under the breasts by two straps, one of which is completed by a mancheron with fringes.
Below the waist, we notice the departure of two large vulture wings that had to wrap around the female body to stop at ankle height.
Finally, the delicacy of the wide gorgerin with its varied elements, which serves as a breastplate, is typical of ptolemaic jewellery.
Reproduction in patinated resin
Height: 13.5 cm
Width: 12 cm
Depth: 4 cm
Weight: 400 g
Origin: Relief with figure of queen or goddess, from Edfu, French-Polish excavations, 1939
Period: Around the 3rd century BC, Ptolemaic period
Museum: Paris - Louvre Museum